Exhibition News July 2017 - Page 27

MY WORKING LIFE JASON STEAD The MD of GES talks working at Nissan, family life and making diffi cult decisions I was born in Castleford, famous for its rugby league team, and I grew up in a village near York. My family are typically Yorkshire – tight-fi sted with money, generous with everything else. My brother looks nothing like me (lucky him) and we both share musical and automotive interests – both petrol heads justifying to our wives why we’ve ‘invested’ money in the latest thing to turn up on the drive. They all now live in France. Family get-togethers are now warmer, with better food and drink than they were back in the day. Mum was an herbalist, Dad ran power stations. They gave us a strong work ethic; we had to earn our pocket money and were encouraged to take on weekend and summer jobs. In hindsight, I think that was probably to get us out of the house… At school I played lots of sport and was house captain for all of them. I loved windsurfi ng and sailing and, from 17, old Volkswagens. My fi rst job was a paper round, which then got combined with an egg round (weird even typing that now), which meant riding slower and taking much longer. My fi rst proper job was as a grad trainee at Nissan in the northeast. I love the Japanese and had a fantastic mentor ‘Harry’ Ishizuka. A very funny (and wise) man. Nissan’s Japanese advisors would spend years diligently learning English only to arrive at Newcastle airport and be met by a Geordie taxi driver. I got into events after spending eight years in the TV industry working for Sky and ITV. I left the TV industry to give my liver a rest and joined Emap in 2009. I joined GES three years ago as COO, and took on the MD role in 2015. At the weekend I like to get out with the family and dog, try to tame the garden and occasionally go to a gig. To let off steam I like to go to the gym. Sing in the car. Drink red wine. I’m married with two kids. My eldest, Ralph (nine) came marching into our bedroom the morning after the Brexit vote to announce, disgusted, that we were out of the Euros and we’d only played one game. Felix is our wild red head – he’s six and a force of nature, cross him at your peril! My favourite event is Naidex – it’s both humbling and inspiring. I was briefl y the fastest 18 year-old windsurfer in the UK (for about ten minutes before someone beat my time). I have been on TV a few times - padding out audiences at ITV and Sky. I sleep on diffi cult decisions but make them the very next morning. I’m a Leeds United fan. I’m very envious of Trevor Foley’s stereo. EN exhibitionnews.co.uk | July 2017 27